Letters are posted as we receive them during the week, and before they are printed in the paper, so check back frequently to see new letters. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor, use this postmarks submission form
, or email your letter directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
. Thanks for your patience.
RECEIVED Wed., Aug. 16, 2017
Thank you for reporting on the mayor’s CodeNEXT comments at the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood meeting and for quoting his illuminating description of Bouldin as in the “Downtown Core Area” [News
, Aug. 11].
For months, my neighbors and I have cringed when city staff and CodeNEXT consultants have referred in meetings to our South Austin neighborhoods as in “Downtown.”
Now we know this description comes from our mayor. Had he ever lived and raised his kids in South Austin (West Lake doesn’t count), he would know that neighbors in Bouldin, Zilker, South River, Dawson, Galindo, or South Lamar didn’t move to South Austin to live in an anonymous downtown urban environment.
Secondly, his admonition to the crowd that “we” should have started CodeNEXT 15 years ago as a vaccine against current high rents or land values shows ignorance of the work of thousands of civic-minded neighbors who 15 years ago participated in the City of Austin MANDATED Neighborhood Plan (NP) process. We didn’t ask to have a Neighborhood Plan; the city required we do so.
Had the mayor participated in an NP, he would realize that his comments insulted the thousands of residents who gave up tens of thousands of hours of family and professional time to shape the future of our neighborhoods. My neighborhood plan is only 12 years old and approved increasing density on our major transit corridors in exchange for protecting the character of our neighborhood. Not a single word in our plan described our neighborhood as a “Downtown Core Area.” Now those plans are being tossed aside in CodeNEXT.
Folks unfamiliar with South Austin, like the mayor, might not understand the South Austin motto: What happens Downtown, stays Downtown.
South Austin since 1963 (except for mid-1980s SoCal years)
RECEIVED Tue., Aug. 15, 2017
First, congratulations to Louis Black for giving all of us a great rag for so very long, for his lifetime contribution to the hip side of the city, the insider's guide to culture, news, and opinion around town. Not to mention the definitive guide to all the music. I started reading the Chronicle
when I was in college in the mid-Eighties, and I couldn't get a Chronicle
soon enough each week, cast about as I was over in College Station for several years. Somehow, the one indie record store over there managed to procure copies.
That said, before Louis fully retires ["Louis Black Announces Chronicle Retirement
," News, Aug. 8] I would like to call him out on something, seeing how as "fake news" is now an established narrative. Years ago he claimed, along with other cohorts, to have attended the January 8, 1978, concert of the Sex Pistols in San Antonio, one of only seven precious dates they made in the U.S. Hmmm. It just seems perfectly suspicious that the founder of the hippest rag in the Southwest was somehow granted a lifetime badge of coolness and enlightenment by having attended such a singular event. But anyone can SAY they were there. If Louis wasn't, then now is the time to own up. The great legacy of the Chronicle
will remain intact, regardless, and Louis will be even more respected riding into the sunset.
[Louis Black responds: On January 8, 1978, first I attended the marriage of James "Cowboy" Cooper, then manager of Inner Sanctum Records, at the original Soap Creek Saloon where Alvin Crow and the Pleasant Valley Boys played. Then I joined Waterloo owner John Kunz and Kathy Marcus to drive to San Antonio to Randy's Rodeo where we saw the Sex Pistols. It remains one of the most extraordinary shows I've ever seen, transcending music in favor of a seminal cultural experience.
A couple of nights later, Austin Chronicle publisher Nick Barbaro saw the Sex Pistols at the Longhorn Ballroom in Dallas.]
RECEIVED Tue., Aug. 15, 2017
Your Aug. 11 cover story ["Poses for the People
," Screens] confirms what we have all feared: the complete Americanization of yoga. Meet the "potty-mouth" yoga instructor ("... get my head out of my own yoga ass"; "... millions of people will check my ass"; "I feel like a cock ..."). Thankfully the article ran only for one page, otherwise she would have squeezed in a few more offensive words. B.K.S. Iyengar is spinning!
RECEIVED Mon., Aug. 14, 2017
I saw Blue Öyster Cult at the Back Room in the 1980s. It was fantastic! Thanks for the story on “Last Days of May” ["Buck Dharma in the 21st Century!
" Daily Music, Aug. 9].
[Music Editor Raoul Hernandez replies: Thanks Michael, the pleasure was all mine! As an addendum to the piece, I ran into a longtime fan at the show – whose initial BÖC show was the “Agents of Fortune” tour in 1976 at the City Coliseum – and he confirmed the band did play the Armadillo in the summer of 1980, six months maybe before the hall closed. The Cultösaurus Erectus tour must have been pretty sweet.]
RECEIVED Thu., Aug. 10, 2017
I write not to bury Louis Black, but to praise him – and to praise him for something that may not show up in other tributes as he leaves the editor’s post ["Louis Black Announces Chronicle Retirement
," News, Aug. 8]. For the record I served as Chronicle
Politics editor from 1989 through 1994 and as a columnist through 1995. I thank Louis and Nick for the opportunity they offered me back then. But, enough about me.
Yes, Louis was a huge player in making Austin what it is: co-founder of the Chronicle
; editor for 36 years; a columnist the entire time; a film reviewer for many years; and a co-founder of SXSW. He even occasionally offered editing advice to Chronicle
writers, usually in bursts of 30 seconds or less.
What I want to emphasize though is that Louis is the FDR of the Chronicle
(as in Franklin Delano Roosevelt). He was the leader in getting health insurance and retirement for employees. This New Deal at the Chronicle
didn’t happen until about year 13 or so, but I think Louis got it done as soon as he thought it was financially possible. Just like the New Deal it really improved people’s lives and continues to do so.
Now, I don’t want to take the FDR analogy too far. For example, historians write that FDR was unfailingly affable. I don’t mean to imply that about Louis. He could be affable, but let’s just say that wasn’t consistent. As is well documented, and acknowledged by him, Louis could sometimes be rather unpleasant as he drove the staff to get the paper out week after week (at first biweekly). Let’s admit it though, staffers, it’s a classic case of, “If he did not exist we would have had to invent him” – although we might have changed a few little things.